Originally posted on Blogger on May 1, 2011
I was hungry when I left work on Friday night, so decided to make my way down to South Orange Blossom Trail to see what food trucks were out already. It was already 10pm by the time I made it to the area, so of course there were at least four or five trucks out and about. I couldn’t get the thought of a previous arepas experience out of my head, so decided to stop off at the Saman Arepas Bistro food truck located in the parking lot of All Transmission World just north of Central Florida Parkway. The parking lot was packed, with two more trucks located at the other end and a live band going. The atmosphere was festive and the weather was fantastic. After parking, I got in line, trying to eavesdrop on what those in front of me were ordering. My spanish is poor at best, so I just tried to match up the few utterances of meat types that were listed on the side of the truck with the three different types of cheese offered.
This truck is great. They have at least six different types of meat options (including beef, pork, ham, chicken, shrimp, and chicken salad) and three cheese options (queso blanco, queso guayanese, and yellow cheese (I can’t remember the spanish for that one! Darn it!)), and for $5 you get a corn arepas that is deliciously crisp and soft all at once stuffed FULL of your own custom combination of meat and cheese. They also have several bottles of sauces (all appear to be mayonnaise based, but were not labeled) and a bowl of salsa verde up on the counter.
My eyes were bigger than my stomach (as always; I need to start bringing a team of 8 with me to these things just so I can try EVERYTHING), so I ordered a beef, a shrimp, and a pork, all with queso blanco. I ordered them to go, and they pop out of the window steaming hot and packaged all neatly in paper. I put some of the salsa verde on the beef, but kept the other two plain, leaving the pork one all wrapped up to bring home.
In my opinion, the beef arepa was the best by far. The meat is seasoned and shredded perfectly and packed into the amazing bread along with crumbled queso blanco. With the salsa verde added in, it makes this amazingly filling little bundle of tasty goodness.
The shrimp arepa was good, and the shrimp were cooked perfectly (nice and pink without being tough or mealy) and crammed into the package (trust me, they do NOT skimp on filling here!), but it was just not as flavorful as its beef counterpart. The cheese added a slight saltiness, but the overall sandwich was a bit bland.